Published: CABEQ 36 (2) (2022) 129–138
Paper type: Original Scientific Paper

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Separation of Crocin/Betanin Using Aqueous Two-phase Systems Containing Ionic Liquid and Sorbitol

R. Madadi, S. Shahriari and H. Mozafari

Betanin and crocin, two food additives with attractive colors, are bioactive compounds of plants that are widely used in food, pharmaceutical, and medical industries. These bioactive pigments are sensitive to light, heat, organic solvents, and pH. It seems that a benign economic method is needed to extract these biomolecules, especially for industrial applications. The aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) is a liquid-liquid extraction technique that has shown its potential in recent years to extract and separate biomolecules. In this study, an ATPS consisting of carbohydrate (sorbitol) and ionic liquid (tetrabutyl phosphonium bromide) has been proposed as a new separation system with unique properties to study the partition coefficient of crocin and betanin. The results indicated that crocin and betanin had more tendency to the ionic liquid (IL)-rich phase and carbohydrate-rich phase, respectively. The influence of the concentration of IL and sorbitol on the partition coefficient was studied. The results showed that an increase in the tie-line length (concentrations) increased the partition coefficient of crocin and betanin. Enhancement in temperature increased the partition coefficient of crocin. The highest values of crocin recovery (97.55 %) and partition coefficient (39.85) at 308 K show that our proposed ATPS can be considered for crocin separation in one step.

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ionic liquid, carbohydrate , crocin , betanin , extraction, aqueous two-phase systems